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3.7 out of 5 stars57
3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 11 February 2010
For me, this is a beautiful and well-crafted film. As a mental health professional, my focus may be a bit different from that of other reviewers on and .com. My contribution however is to suggest that it offers real insight into some of the ethical dilemas and transference issues between client and staff/carers. Of course, we have in the film a self-styled "leader" rather than a professional but issues of autonomy and power also come into force, even for those with years of training and accreditation. Put more simply, it raises the issue of the choices we allow individuals and how different groups or individuals seek to shape society. I could say a lot more but my simple advice is watch the film! It's moving and may be distressing but it would be wrong to expect anything else of a portrayal of psychotic illness. Don't just watch the film but, if you can, look at the rest of the material on the DVD, including the invitation to volunteer in your neighbourhood to challenge stigma and include people with mental health difficulties.
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on 15 February 2011
After seeing the trailers I thought this would be a good film. It started off well but quickly became hardgoing and about halfway through I turned it off. I guess I was looking for something entertaining and this was more like a documentary.

BUT... I did watch the last half of the film a few days later and it left me wanting to see it again from the start. I thought Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted musician suffering from a mental illness, was brilliant - but I did not really begin to appreciate this until the film had ended.

I will have to watch it again.
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on 1 April 2010
If you have no experience of the mental health service you may like this more than me.......... it is a realistic, believable portrayal of an individual 'suffering' mental health issues. However, I found the lack of involvement from the mental health service a bit unbelievable (based on my experience). However, this is a film........ and meant to be entertaining - so overall i have to say that it's not a bad film at all.
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on 17 November 2010
I knew a little bit about this film having read an article on the real life 'story'. i also knew that you really can't go wrong with the new and improved Robert Downey jr and the always brilliant Jamie Fox so was very much looking forward to watching this film.
One piece of advice before i give you my opinion - Don't start watching this as a filler during doing other stuff,get yourself comfy and remove all distractions. oh maybe get some tissues.
I loved this film,i put it on and was totally ingrossed. The way it was filmed, the acting, the music (and im not a huge classical music fan) and the story being told. i found myself immersed in it all,so much so that when Mr Lopez is at the bar drinking shots i could smell sambucca!! it was not Hollywoodised, it was a story that should and needed to be told, about both mental issues and the homeless and was told delightfully.
Please please watch.
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on 28 December 2009
I didn't know what to expect from this film, had no knowledge of the background, hadn't even seen a clip or trailer. Very superficially I watched it simply because it was Robert Downey Junior! I appreciate the 'realness' of this film. Without giving the ending away, it is refreshing to see Hollywood treat mental illness with some sense of reality rather than patronising it or providing a 'miracle cure'. Both Robert Downey and Jamie Foxx are brilliant in this film and provide convincing performances.
The film may be a bit slow to get off the ground, but it draws you in, and provides a message that maybe society needs to listen to where mental illness is concerned. I would highly recommend this film.
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on 12 February 2010
I saw this DVD advertised in "The Big Issue". When it arrived and i watched it i was not disappointed. This is one of the few Dramas which is based on a real story and brings to the forefront, the extreme and horrendous poverty and homelessness in the USA. In my view it addresses sensitively the value of friendship and companionship which can impact positively on peoples mental health and spiritual wellbeing. It is an interesting film and well acted by Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey jnr. You do need to take account of the over dramatisation in parts. Having said all this, it is worth viewing. On the down side i was hoping for more of the great music, but i suppose there is only so much which can be included on a standard DVD.
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on 11 October 2011
Robert Downey Jr and the cast assembled make this a real life event truly watchable. It is is sad, poignant and not at all pretty but it shows the other side of Los Angeles which is where fairy-tails are made and nightmares lurk around the corner.

It is interesting that Working Titles went with this project because they usually have lighter subjects in mind and although I missed it it on its Theatrical Release I am glad I have it for my collection.
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on 8 March 2013
no portuguese subtitles
wrong information
global stores need to be more exactly.......
a good film,a good story,humam touch and he is playing a cello not a violin on the cover eheheh
there are too many people like this in the world who are put aside of society and human heat is all we need in this world of greed and consumation...
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on 18 January 2012
Two of my favourite actors at their best!

This is a deeply moving film that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I thought Jamie Foxx was particularly good and he never ceases to impress me with his range of characters that he can play.

If you would like to watch a well written, interesting and moving film then this is great for a night in with a cup of tea.

Would I recommend it? Definitely.
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on 17 April 2012
It's not always easy to portray real life characters realistically but when you watch the footage of the real Steve and Nathaniel being interviewed, they seem pretty happy with the finished article and that's good enough for me. Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey jr bring such empathy for their characters to their portrayal that you believe they ARE who they are playing. Excellent film.
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